The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall

Over 3.8K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Voting Rules
Vote up the scents you most remember smelling during the '90s as you cruised the mall with your pals.

Scientists say smell is the most important sense linked to memory, and it’s not uncommon for scents to unlock long forgotten memories and bring a tear of nostalgia to your eye. And there's probably nothing that makes you more nostalgic than catching a whiff of our favorite '90s mall smells.

Whether it’s the Abercrombie & Fitch cologne or movie theater popcorn, these are the smells from the mall that make you wish you could turn back time and waste a Saturday hanging out with your friends. Sniff out these memorable smells from the mall and try not to get too misty eyed.

If you’re too young to remember what the mall smelled like, then you’re in for a special treat. Collected on this list you’ll find a bevy of stores and smells that totally encompass the world of a true mallrat. Believe it or not, there was a generation of teenagers who looked forward to carousing through their local mall and munching on kiosk food, totally unsupervised by their parents. The '90s truly were a blissful time to be alive. If you were around for those good old days, check out these memorable scents from the mall and see how many are still secretly floating around inside your nose.

Photo: pingping / Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0
Ranked by
  • Cinnabon
    2,265 votes
    Oh, those heavenly ovens.
  • Movie Theater Popcorn
    1,953 votes

    Movie Theater Popcorn

    Something about that imitation butter smell.

  • Bath & Body Works
    Cucumbers and vanilla and sweet pea soap, oh my!
  • Sbarro
    1,913 votes


    We'll take a drippy slice of pepperoni, please.

  • The Pretzel Kiosk
    1,841 votes

    The Pretzel Kiosk

    Doughy, salty goodness.
  • The Mall Fountain
    1,739 votes

    The Mall Fountain

    Mmmm... chlorine!